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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Remedy For The Least Well Off: The Case For Preliminary Damages, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Feb 2021

A Remedy For The Least Well Off: The Case For Preliminary Damages, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Historically, the law helped impecunious plaintiffs overcome their inherent disadvantage in civil litigation. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case: modern law has largely abandoned the mission of assisting the least well off. In this Essay, we propose a new remedy that can dramatically improve the fortunes of poor plaintiffs and thereby change the errant path of the law: preliminary damages. The unavailability of preliminary damages has dire implications for poor plaintiffs, especially those wronged by affluent individuals and corporations. Resource constrained plaintiffs cannot afford prolonged litigation on account of their limited financial means. Consequently, they are forced to either ...


Making A Buck While Making A Difference, Alphonse A. Gerhardstein May 2016

Making A Buck While Making A Difference, Alphonse A. Gerhardstein

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

It is not right for children to die before their parents. It is not right for peaceful, unarmed citizens to die at the hands of the police. In my civil rights practice, I have met many mothers, fathers, and family members who are struggling to recover after a law enforcement officer caused the death of their loved one. Sure, they want fair compensation. But money does little to reduce their loss or make the grief more bearable. They often want to do something that will ensure that their loved one did not die in vain. They want to prevent other ...


Everything’S Bigger In Texas: Except The Medmal Settlements, Tom Baker, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Jan 2016

Everything’S Bigger In Texas: Except The Medmal Settlements, Tom Baker, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent work using Texas closed claim data finds that physicians are rarely required to use personal assets in medical malpractice settlements even when plaintiffs secure judgments above the physician's insurance limits. In equilibrium, this should lead physicians to purchase less insurance. Qualitative research on the behavior of plaintiffs suggests that there is a norm under which plaintiffs agree not to pursue personal assets as long as defendants are not grossly underinsured. This norm operates as a soft constraint on physicians. All other things equal, while physicians want to lower their coverage, they do not want to violate the norm ...


Saving Charitable Settlements, Christine P. Bartholomew May 2015

Saving Charitable Settlements, Christine P. Bartholomew

Journal Articles

This Article defies the conventional wisdom that all charitable distributions from a class action settlement fund are types of cy pres. Instead, it proposes a radical delineation between “cy pres remainders” (meaning settlement funds left over after individual monetary distributions) and “charitable settlements” (meaning money initially distributed to charities as part of class action settlements). While both have cy pres roots, these two settlement structures have been conflated, jeopardizing the potential utility of charitable settlements. After articulating more precise nomenclature for these distinct distribution methods, this Article justifies why we must preserve charitable settlements. This defense is particularly timely, as ...


Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger

Articles

This Article is part of the University of Miami Law Review’s Leading from Below Symposium. It canvasses prisoners’ lawyers’ strategies prompted by the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”). The strategies comply with the statute’s limits yet also allow U.S. district courts to remain a forum for the vindication of the constitutional rights of at least some of the nation’s millions of prisoners. After Part I’s introduction, Part II summarizes in several charts the PLRA’s sharp impact on the prevalence and outcomes of prison litigation, but demonstrates that there are still many cases and ...


Trial And Settlement: A Study Of High-Low Agreements, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier, Albert Yoon Aug 2014

Trial And Settlement: A Study Of High-Low Agreements, J. J. Prescott, Kathryn E. Spier, Albert Yoon

Articles

This article presents the first systematic theoretical and empirical study of highlow agreements in civil litigation. A high-low agreement is a private contract that, if signed by litigants before trial, constrains any plaintiff’s recovery to a specified range. In our theoretical model, trial is both costly and risky. When litigants have divergent subjective beliefs and are mutually optimistic about their trial prospects, cases may fail to settle. In these cases, high-low agreements can be in litigants’ mutual interest because they limit the risk of outlier awards while still allowing mutually beneficial speculation. Using claims data from a national insurance ...


Agenda: Arizona V. California At 50: The Legacy And Future Of Governance, Reserved Rights, And Water Transfers, University Of Colorado Boulder. Getches-Wilkinson Center For Natural Resources, Energy, And The Environment Aug 2013

Agenda: Arizona V. California At 50: The Legacy And Future Of Governance, Reserved Rights, And Water Transfers, University Of Colorado Boulder. Getches-Wilkinson Center For Natural Resources, Energy, And The Environment

Arizona v. California at 50: The Legacy and Future of Governance, Reserved Rights, and Water Transfers (Martz Summer Conference, August 15-16)

The Colorado River is an economic, environmental and cultural lifeline of the southwestern United States, and the allocation of its scarce waters are a source of ongoing controversy. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. California. While the case was an important landmark in the still-evolving relationship between these two Lower Basin states, it remains most relevant today by the way in which it clarified federal rights and responsibilities. This is especially true in the areas of federal (including tribal) reserved rights, the role of the Interior Secretary in Lower Basin water management ...


Check Please: Using Legal Liability To Inform Food Safety Regulation, Alexia Brunet Marks Jan 2013

Check Please: Using Legal Liability To Inform Food Safety Regulation, Alexia Brunet Marks

Articles

Food safety is a hotly debated issue. While food nourishes, sustains, and enriches our lives, it can also kill us. At any given meal, our menu comes from a dozen different sources. Without proper incentives to encourage food safety, microbial pathogens can, and do enter the food source--so much so that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year roughly one in six Americans (or forty-eight million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. What is the optimal way to prevent unsafe foods from entering the marketplace?

Safety in ...


The End Of Objector Blackmail?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2009

The End Of Objector Blackmail?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Courts and commentators have long been concerned with holdout problems in the law. This Article focuses on a holdout problem in class action litigation known as objector “blackmail.” Objector blackmail occurs when individual class members delay the final resolution of class action settlements by filing meritless appeals in the hope of inducing class counsel to pay them a side settlement to drop their appeals. It is thought that class counsel pay these side settlements because they cannot receive their fee awards until all appeals from the settlement are resolved. Although several solutions to the blackmail problem have been proposed, both ...


What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Mass Torts?, Anthony J. Sebok Apr 2008

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Mass Torts?, Anthony J. Sebok

Michigan Law Review

Twenty years ago, Deborah Hensler and a team of scholars at the RAND Corporation's Institute for Civil Justice issued a report entitled Trends in Tort Litigation: The Story Behind the Statistics. Pressure had been mounting both in the business community and the Republican Party to "reform" tort law throughout the 1980s. There was concern that Americans "egged on by avaricious lawyers, sue[d] too readily, and irresponsible juries and activist judges wayla[id] blameless businesses at enormous cost to social and economic well-being." The RAND report argued that the real risk of a torts "explosion" came from the world ...


How Are Patent Cases Resolved? An Empirical Examination Of The Adjudication And Settlement Of Patent Disputes, Jay P. Kesan, Gwendolyn G. Ball Jan 2006

How Are Patent Cases Resolved? An Empirical Examination Of The Adjudication And Settlement Of Patent Disputes, Jay P. Kesan, Gwendolyn G. Ball

Washington University Law Review

From an institutional perspective, the patent system is a two-stage bargain. At the first stage, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) grants patent rights to inventors after conducting an examination of the prior art and of the patent application to determine whether the requirements for patentability are met. At the next stage, in order to enforce their issued patent rights, patentees have to resort to the federal courts with an action for patent infringement. This Article is organized as follows. Part II reviews the previous literature on patent litigation. Part III describes our methodology for collecting data on ...


A Taxing Settlement, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White Jan 2003

A Taxing Settlement, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White

Articles

The following essay is based on the talk "Government, Citizens, and Injurious Industries: A Case Study of the Tobacco Litigation," delivered by Hanoch Dagan last May to the Detroit Chapter of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, and on the article "Governments, Citizens, and Injurious Industries," by Dagan and James J. White, '62, which appeared in 75.2 New York University Law Review 254-428 (May 2000). The authors hold conflicting view on the underlying issue of this topic: tobacco company product liability. Professor Dagan holds the position that tobacco companies are liable for harm done by their products ...


Clear Sailing Agreements: A Special Form Of Collusion In Class Action Settlements, William D. Henderson Jan 2003

Clear Sailing Agreements: A Special Form Of Collusion In Class Action Settlements, William D. Henderson

Articles by Maurer Faculty

A clear sailing agreement (or clause) is a compromise in which a class action defendant agrees not to contest the class lawyer's petition for attorneys' fees. This Article argues that clear sailing provisions often facilitate collusive settlements in cases involving non-pecuniary relief or claims-made common funds that return all unclaimed monies to the defendant. Because these types of settlements present difficult valuation problems, trial courts lack a clear benchmark for calculating attorneys' fees. Defendants and class can exploit this uncertainty by presenting an inflated settlement value to the court (to justify higher attorneys' fees) while simultaneously reducing the true ...


Alternative Dispute Resolution And The Occupational Safety And Health Review Commission: Settlement Judges And Simplified Proceedings, Morell E. Mullins Sr. Jan 2001

Alternative Dispute Resolution And The Occupational Safety And Health Review Commission: Settlement Judges And Simplified Proceedings, Morell E. Mullins Sr.

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Governments, Citizens, And Injurious Industries, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White Jan 2000

Governments, Citizens, And Injurious Industries, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White

Articles

In this Article, Professors Hanoch Dagan and James White study the most recent challenge raised by mass torts litigation: the interference of governments with the bilateral relationship between citizens and injurious industries. Using the tobacco settlement as their case study, Dagan and White explore the important benefits and the grave dangers of recognizing governments' entitlement to reimbursement for costs they have incurred in preventing or ameliorating their citizens' injuries. They further demonstrate that the current law can help capture these benefits and guard against the entailing risks, showing how subrogation law can serve as the legal foundation of the governments ...


Shareholder Derivative Litigation And Corporate Governance, Mark J. Loewenstein Jan 1999

Shareholder Derivative Litigation And Corporate Governance, Mark J. Loewenstein

Articles

In approving settlements of derivative actions that include fees for plaintiff's attorney, courts typically announce that attorney's fees are approved if a substantial benefit is obtained. In fact, courts, particularly Delaware courts, approve settlements in shareholder derivative actions that included substantial fees for plaintiff's attorney, despite the absence of a corresponding benefit to the corporation. Frequently, the "benefit" obtained is a reform in corporate governance, which is of dubious value to the corporation. To deter frivolous litigation, courts should resist the temptation to approve these settlements just to dispose of the litigation. The paper concludes that fees ...


Going To Trial: A Rare Throw Of The Die, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1997

Going To Trial: A Rare Throw Of The Die, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

If it is true, as we often hear, that we are one of the most litigious societies on earth, it is because of our propensity to sue, not our affinity for trials. Of the hundreds of thousands of civil lawsuits that are filed each year in America, the great majority are settled; of those that are not settled, most are ultimately dismissed by the plaintiffs or by the courts; only a few percent are tried to a jury or a judge. This is no accident. We prefer settlements and have designed a system of civil justice that embodies and expresses ...


Why Civil Cases Go To Trial: Strategic Bargaining And The Desire For Vindication, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1997

Why Civil Cases Go To Trial: Strategic Bargaining And The Desire For Vindication, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

When negotiations break down and a dispute cannot be settled, attorneys commonly blame their adversaries, often questioning their ethics or their judgment. After interviewing many attorneys, we have come to believe much of the criticism is directed at strategic moves in negotiation. But strategic ploys are not the only reason dispute resolution fails. Rather, our research also suggest that a genuine desire for vindication through trial or other formal process may be very significant in some types of cases where bargaining breaks down.


Turning From Tort To Administration, Richard A. Nagareda Feb 1996

Turning From Tort To Administration, Richard A. Nagareda

Michigan Law Review

My objective here is to challenge the notion that the recent mass tort settlements - for all their novel qualities in the mass tort area - are truly sui generis in the law. Rather, I contend that the rise of such settlements in tort mirrors the development of public administrative agencies earlier in this century - that, in both instances, powerful new institutions emerged outside preexisting channels of control to wield significant power over human lives and resources. I argue that courts usefully may draw upon familiar doctrines of judicial review in administrative law to form a conceptual framework for their analysis of ...


Don't Try: Civil Jury Verdicts In A System Geared To Settlement, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1996

Don't Try: Civil Jury Verdicts In A System Geared To Settlement, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

If it is true, as we often hear, that we are one of the most litigious societies on earth, it is because of our propensity to sue, not our affinity for trials. Of the hundreds of thousands of civil lawsuits that are filed each year in America, the great majority are settled; of those that are not settled, most are ultimately dismissed by the plaintiffs or by the courts; only a few percent are tried to a jury or a judge. This is no accident. We prefer settlements and have designed a system of civil justice that embodies and expresses ...


The Recognition Of Judgments In The European Community: The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Of The Brussels Convention, Robert C. Reuland Jan 1993

The Recognition Of Judgments In The European Community: The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Of The Brussels Convention, Robert C. Reuland

Michigan Journal of International Law

This article is directed at two objectives. It will first provide, in Part I, an outline of the history of the Brussels Convention from its inception to the present day. It will examine the growth of the Convention from a vague undertaking of the six original Member States of the EC, through various treaties of accession and the 1988 Lugano Convention with the EFTA, and finally to the text currently in force. Part II will discuss the nature of the Convention and the philosophy behind it. The second purpose of this article is a more pragmatic one: to provide the ...


Getting To No: A Study Of Settlement Negotiations And The Selection Of Cases For Trial, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1991

Getting To No: A Study Of Settlement Negotiations And The Selection Of Cases For Trial, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

A trial is a failure. Although we celebrate it as the centerpiece of our system of justice, we know that trial is not only an uncommon method of resolving disputes, but a disfavored one. With some notable exceptions, lawyers, judges, and commentators agree that pretrial settlement is almost always cheaper, faster, and better than trial. Much of our civil procedure is justified by the desire to promote settlement and avoid trial. More important, the nature of our civil process drives parties to settle so as to avoid the costs, delays, and uncertainties of trial, and, in many cases, to agree ...


Claim Requirements Of The Federal Tort Claims Act: Minimal Notice Or Substantial Documentation?, Michigan Law Review Jun 1983

Claim Requirements Of The Federal Tort Claims Act: Minimal Notice Or Substantial Documentation?, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note finds both the Adams and Swift positions unsatisfactory. Part I contends that Adams misconstrued the legislative history of the FTCA amendments by applying a minimal notice standard and then argues that Swift contravenes the amendments' fairness policy by permitting ambiguous, overreaching documentation requests. Part II contends that courts should interpret section 2675's "presented the claim" language as an accommodation between two competing Congressional objectives: presuit claims settlement and fair treatment of claimants. The Note proposes that until the Department of Justice modifies its current claims regulations, courts should toll the statute of limitations whenever an individual's ...